Northern Ireland

NIFRS 'won't block' Joe McCloskey inquiry

The chairman of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service says he will not block an independent inquiry into the death of a fireman 10 years ago.

Joe McCloskey, from Dungiven, County Londonderry, died in a blaze at the Gorteen Hotel in Limavady on 31 October 2003.

The roof he was working on collapsed, dropping him into the flames below.

NIFRS chairman Dr Joe McKee told the public accounts committee that he will not object to finding out who ordered Mr McCloskey onto the roof.

The Northern Ireland Fire Service conducted an investigation after the death of the father of five.

However, that investigation failed to establish who gave the order to Mr McCloskey to go onto the roof and no-one was ever disciplined.

Family, including daughter Briege and son Seamas, and friends protested outside the public accounts committee meeting on Wednesday holding a banner reading "justice for Joe".

His daughter Briege said they wanted Dr McKee to admit the injustice and to "hopefully take back to the fire brigade that we want an answer and we're not going to give up until they give it to us".

Both Seamas and Briege said they were more positive but that the committee hearings were a real insight into what has been going on behind closed doors.

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